Interview with NICK ARMBRISTER/JIMMY BOOM SEMTEX
Amazon Authors page/s: https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Armbrister/e/B003NPHFBQ (Nick Armbrister)
https://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Boom-Semtex/e/B01MSKQ4ZM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1525462413&sr=1-2-ent (Jimmy Boom Semtex)
Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let's get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.
Nick: Hi everybody, my name is Nick Armbrister.
What is your age?
Nick: I’m 46.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Nick: Born in a town called Oldham near Manchester, England. Now in Manila, Philippines.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Nick: I’m in my mid 40s. Have a younger attitude and world view. I completed secondary school and college. No University as I’m from a working class family. Taught myself to write and had early help and support from other writers which helped greatly. I’d have stopped if discouraged back then. I’m married to a Filipina lady.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Nick: I’m working on a few new projects. I’m doing a new alternative poem book, a follow up to called Gatoros and Crocos: Lower Case Murky Poems and Ditties. I’d say it’s half done and will be released in a few months.
I’m also doing an anti war book with writer Andy N. Our 3rd book in our Europa series. We write about war, weapons, the human story and cost of conflict. Many of the pieces are dark, others are of hope. The previous two volumes were well received. They are in both hard copy real book and ebook format and for sale on the usual websites.
Another project is a collection of poetry by Filipina poetess/writer Shy Lhen Esposo and me. We previously did a couple of books and other poems. These will go in one volume. The poems are about love, war and other things. I plan to do other books under my pen name Jimmy Boom Semtex and also my real name Nick Armbrister. And I’ll collaborate with other international writers too. I’m always busy. My days should have 36 hours in each!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Nick: I’m a failed/frustrated singer/musician. I tried to sing in a band back in 91 and crash and burned badly. I also tried to play guitar, bass and drums etc. I soon found that I had no aptitude for music so turned to writing. I wrote my first poems while drunk at my mate Paul’s flat while listening to goth, metal and 80s music. This was in April 96. I’ve never stopped. I was first published in November 96 in an Alanis Morrissette ‘zine. My poem was Ode to Alanis. I had the view that writing was a poor second place to music. It took years to change that view. It actually compliments it. After all a song is only a poem to music. I started writing fiction a few years later but did the odd story at school/college. Those are since lost. Also I was greatly inspired by the music of All About Eve/Julianne Regan and the book Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Nick: I guess from my first poems. I love the term ‘writer’ and always use it. The word ‘poet’ is too Victorian, elitist and upper middle class. Though of course I am a poet! I don’t like the word ‘author’ as it’s also too upper middle class and publishing deal orientated. I’m an indie author. Mostly self taught. I ask this question: is a writer a writer if they don’t write?
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Nick: The music of All About Eve/Julianne Regan and the book Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand has to be a part but also living life, my own experiences and stories that came together in my head. My first book, a novel, was called Juniper’s Daughter. I wrote it in 2000/1. It has been changed a couple of times.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Nick: Junipergoth was my ‘goth’ name back then and I added part of it to the title. Juniper is a witch with a daughter of no name. Hence the book title. Juniper’s Daughter is a witch and woman and represents all things feminine and of nature. She fights the longest war in history, that of good versus evil against the Devil. I could go on forever about her!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Nick: My own style is just that, my own. My work is very descriptive and vivid especially the fiction. Some of my readers like it, some don’t. The only challenges are a lack of time and other demands brought on by life. I like free verse when it comes to poetry/prose but I can and do write in rhyme and verse.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Nick: Juniper’s Daughter is set in Oldham and is very realistic. The UK had a Yugoslavian type civil war. The new nations had a short lived independence. Then there was a nuclear war with France and England set off by a fishing dispute. These events occurred up to 2013 in my novel. Some events were made up and others from my own life. Read the book and try to guess what!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Nick: I always travel, even to my place of work. Each trip brings inspiration and ideas. If on a bus or jet plane. I do travel to research my book eg to motorcycle shows to research about bikes or trikes that features in the book.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Nick: I do my own photos/photo editing or get an artist to do me a suitable artwork or use a stock royalty free photo from online or my publisher’s website. I enjoy doing my own covers and working with artists.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nick: Yes there is. Pick up a pen and start writing, be it poetry or a story. That’s what I did. If I can write then so can you. My Juniper’s Daughter book is anti war and says violence is NOT the answer to the varied problems that we and the world face.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Nick: Not really read any new author books. Got a few new author ebooks to read but so little time. Bad to say I know. Elizabeth hand is my fave author of all time. She is awesome. Her descriptions of biotic Gryphon warplanes is sublime. I also greatly like Sven hassel, his war books are the best ever written and again, are anti war. James Herbert is an great writer. As it Dale Brown and a dozen others. My fave book by an English author is Yellow Heart by Tracy Reed. A fantastic novel.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Nick: Myself, and myself alone. I’d have to say the local Oldham writing group run by Cartwheel Arts was a great help and a place to meet many talented local writers. Some are far better than me and I made some good friends there and had the chance to attend some fantastic workshops led by several famous authors.